In all of our other features, we highlight bands/artists; now we want to take you into the world of the people who work for a band on tour, their crew. For this first feature, we teamed up with hairstylist and makeup artist, Aga Dondzik. You can can find out more about Aga and advice she has for people interested in hitting the road (her “Trick of the Trade”), after the break.
Carly Rae Jepsen, Backstreet Boys, Nickelodeon, VWT
What positions have you held (i.e. Tour Manager, Front of House, etc.)?
Your first touring gig:
Who did you work for?
I own a company called Rock Razor Scissors and we did hair for Vans Warped Tour a few years. We did hair for the bands of VWT in the Midwest and it really was a good way to begin my touring career. Hard working people busting their butts really taught me to appreciate the fancy hotels and buses of the future gigs I did.
What was (is your continued) motivation for wanting to start working for tour bands?
I did hair for tours for about 5 years before I went on the road. I always loved seeing my friends and how tight they were with their tour pals while they were doing what they loved and traveling the world at the same time. I decided I really wanted to be able to travel the world too. When I started working with the CRJ crew they became that tour family for me. We have all shared some of the most incredible moments of our lives together and we are bonded for life. I couldn’t be luckier.
While growing up were you involved in your local music scene? If so, how did you get involved?
Growing up I really wanted a cool place to do my hair, a place that the music was right and the stylists understood exactly what I wanted my hair to look like. Not my mom’s hair salon. So I decided to open RRS, we were part of the music scene. Our clients could come to us and know we also do hair for some of their favorite bands. It was so cool to see young kids come to a place where they felt normal, where they could talk about music and we could relate.
If you could recommend one piece of advice (“trick of the trade”) to current or aspiring crew members, what would it be?
Being on the road with incredible people makes it worth it. It isn’t an easy job flying over 300,000 miles a year and being at airports constantly or living out of a suitcase. So the people that surround you make or break the job. Be awesome, easy going and understanding. There’s a lot of things that go into a tour and each moment you don’t make it harder helps everyone else. It’s the big picture you have to see, the little problems you can solve on your own. Luckily with the CRJ crew, we have a perfect group of people that all fit each other in the most amazing way and always work as a team. Everyone helps everyone. Nobody is too good for any job. That’s what makes a great tour.
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